Failed to Install Python Interpreter (Both Python 3.8 & 3.9)

Hello - a newbie here with both PyCharm and Python. I was able to install the PyCharm Professional today but just could not get the Python interpreter set up - in either the Professional version or the Community version I previously had.  Odd thing is this is only occurring to my work laptop and not my personal PC, so I'm wondering if there are some specific company firewall issues at play... but several colleagues seem to have no issues on their work laptop. 

Our company IT support couldn't help, saying this is an application they do not manage. Would greatly appreciate your help.

Initially installing directly via PyCharm as below - gives me error code 1,638, and proposes to install manually.

 

Proceeding with manual download from Python.org and following the instruction, this "Modify Setup" pop up keeps coming up. Whether I chosse to "Modify" or "Repair" - it comes back right away. And when I finally just x out of it, it gives me a "Failed to Create Interpreter" message as the last screen below.  

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Hi, the "Modify Setup" window is coming up because you're specifying the installer executable as project interpreter.

First, you must install python and note the installation path, then create a new project interpreter in PyCharm and specify the path to "python.exe" from that installation. On Windows, it's usually in <installation_path>/python.exe

Note that, by default, PyCharm will offer you to create a virtualenv for the new interpreter. You can find out more: https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/venv.html

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